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Hi Craig,

On Wed, 11 Feb 2015, Craig Boman said:

> Dear Code4Lib,
> Has your library ever hosted a hackathon for university students? If so,
> would you do it again? Anything you wish you had known before hosting the
> hackathon?

We held a student hackathon at the Univ of Minnesota last year. The event
wasn't sponsored by the Libraries, but rather by a campus developers'

Getting enough students in attendance to spin up several different projects was
challenging - we had a number of staff professionals there to mentor
projects and help them get underway, and ultimately I think we had more
staff in attendance than students.  For logistical reasons (room
scheduling), we held it on a Friday and Saturday if I recall. We knew it
would be difficult for a lot of students to be able to stay for long
periods amidst class schedules, but that was the biggest hindrance in the
end. It is difficult to schedule the time needed to do focused work on a
project, even when the project is somewhat planned ahead.

I think we began it with a handful of ideas to work on, and had enough
attendees to get two groups going.  One of them was pretty successful,
despite bootstrapping the project from nothing.

Getting people together to work on an existing project that's able to
onboard contributors quickly would work even better.

(by the way, I'm a UD alum)

- -- 
Michael Berkowski
University of Minnesota Libraries
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